14 JULY 1961, Page 13

Harwich to the Hook S. A. Claydon

Not Good Enough Mrs. Barbara Tyrrell, H. P. J. Henning

Anti-Semitism F. R. P. Moreton

The Other Exodus Erskine B. Childers, Edward A tiyah, Lieut.-General Sir John Glubb

Christian Science Admiral Sir Maurice J. Mansergh Two Noble Kinsmen' I. C. Maxwell


SIR,—In your 'Postscript' of July 7, Mr. Ray criti- cises British Railways Eastern and Southern Region Continental Services in terms so unreasonable as to lead to the suspicion that he was determined to make the most of any and every fault that he could find, however small.

He criticised the uncomfortable heat of 'The Hook Continental' boat train and his cabin on board the Night Service ship, but omitted to mention that he travelled on the very warm and sticky evening of June 25, which was one of the hottest days of the year. His cabin had to be an inside cabin without a porthole because, at the time the arrangements were made for the party of journalists of which he was a member, the best cabins in the ship had been sold.

Practically all Western Europe was sweltering in a heat-wave that weekend and ice and butter were no doubt melting quickly in most places. On such a night promenading on the deck of any ship is a pleasant relief after the heat of the day and un- doubtedly goes on later than at other times.

His remark about British Railways meals—I take it he refers to 'The Hook Continental'—is offensive and inaccurate. The dinner in the train is a four- course meal of good-quality food quite well prepared and presented and is good value at the price of 12s. 6d. It will stand comparison with most con- tinental meals at twice the price.

I have no doubt that the author of your 'Post- script' found the air-conditioned temperatures of the excellent new Trans-European Expresses extremely pleasant to travel in during such uncomfortably hot weather, but it is unfortunate that this led him to turn comparison into general condemnation by the use of extravagant language.—Yours faithfully,

S. A. CLAYDON Continental Traffic and Shipping Manager British Railways (Eastern Region) British Railways, Harwich House,

129 Bishopsgate, EC2

[Cyril Ray writes : 'I am not "determined to make the most of any and every fault" on British Railways Continental services or I should have written at much greater length. It doesn't strike me as a small fault that ventilators on an important boat train don't open, on what Mr. Claydon admits was a "very hot and sticky evening": doesn't his region arrange to have carriages examined before they are put into use? As it was such a hot evening it seems to have been particularly unwise to have kept food in the sun all day instead of in the shade. If Mr. Claydon believes that dinner that night was "of good-quality food quite well prepared and presented" he will believe anything. Has he any explanation for there being no fresh vegetables, no salad, and no fresh fruit —in England, in June? I quite understand about the best cabins in the ship having been sold : my col- league was lucky who was able to move into the one that had been reserved for the Assistant Continental Traffic and Shipping Manager, British Railways (Eastern Region)..—Editor, Spectator.]